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Syria threatens to use chemical weapons against possible attack

Syria admitted Monday it has chemical weapons and warned of using them if attacked, though not against its own civilians, as regime troops reclaimed most of Damascus after a week of heavy clashes. Fighting was still raging in Syria’s second-biggest city of Aleppo, however, as rights activists reported violence across…

Afghan cleric arrested for raping 10-year-old girl

Afghan police have arrested a cleric for allegedly raping a 10-year-old schoolgirl in northern Afghanistan, officials said Monday. Maulawi Sayed Ahmad was arrested in Aybak, the capital of Samangan province, on Saturday after police caught him in the act of sexually assaulting the girl, the interior ministry said in a…

Clinton: United States committed to ‘AIDS-free generation’

The United States is committed to the goal of an AIDS-free generation and will step up its efforts to stem the world pandemic, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a global conference Monday. “The United States is committed and will remain committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation. We will not…

Cancer-causing agent found in Chinese-made baby formula

A Chinese dairy has been ordered to suspend production after a cancer-causing toxin was found in its infant formula, China’s quality watchdog said Monday, in the country’s latest milk scare. Ava Dairy Co. Ltd has started a recall after high levels of aflatoxin, which is caused by mould, was found…

Iraq policy reversal allows Syrian refugees to cross border

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday instructed Iraq’s security forces and Red Crescent to allow in Syrian refugees and provide them with support, reversing an earlier decision. “The prime minister directed Iraqi forces and police and the Iraqi Red Crescent to receive Syrian refugees and help them and provide them…

74-year-old German woman finds 3-foot python in her toilet

A German pensioner got more than she bargained for when she lifted up her toilet seat to find a metre-long (three-foot-long) python staring up at her, police said on Monday. The 74-year-old from Schwanstetten in southern Germany immediately called the police, who attempted to flush the serpent from its hiding…

Global elite hide up to $32 trillion in offshore tax havens: report

Nations’ problems of debt and deficit could be easily solved by applying taxes to profits held in offshore tax havens, where the global business elite have hidden up to $32 trillion to skirt their responsibilities to tax agencies all over the world, the liberal-leaning Tax Justice Network reported this week.…

At least 91 killed in Iraq’s deadliest day since 2010

A wave attacks in Baghdad and north of the capital killed 91 people in Iraq’s deadliest day in more than two years after Al-Qaeda warned it would mount new attacks and sought to retake territory. Officials said at least 172 people were wounded as a result of 21 different attacks…

TV depiction of revered Islamic figure causes stir

A television series depicting a revered Islamic figure has caused a stir in the Arab world with thousands saying the show must be stopped because they believe such depictions are forbidden by Islam. The historical drama, “Omar”, tells the story of Omar Ibn al-Khattab, a close companion of Prophet Mohammed…

Top Indian woman revolutionary Lakshmi Sehgal dies aged 97

Top Indian female revolutionary Lakshmi Sehgal, who fought Allied forces during World War II, died on Monday following a heart attack, a doctor said. She was 97. Sehgal, who fought against Britain and its allies in an all-female regiment organised by Indian radical Subhash Chandra Bose, was hospitalised last Thursday…

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